Bursting with pride for our civic heroes

A glittering awards ceremony for Blackpool’s civic heroes had extra significance this year as it marked 40 years of good work in the resort.

Blackpool FC legend Jimmy Armfield was on hand to present the honours at Blackpool Civic Trust’s awards dinner.

Bethany Langley (left) and Kelly Banlaki  Pictures PAUL SIMPSON

Bethany Langley (left) and Kelly Banlaki Pictures PAUL SIMPSON

The organisation’s two remaining active founder members – Coun David Owen and Martin Gunson – were both present for the 40th anniversary celebrations.

Prizes were handed out in 11 categories at the ceremony at Viva, on Church Street, on Friday evening.

Blackpool’s pioneering Illuminasia –the biggest indoor lights attraction of its kind in the world – was the first recipient of the new Best New Quality Visitor Attraction award.

Other winners included Moor Park Primary School and Trinity Hospice.

Joan Humble, chairman of Blackpool Civic Trust, said: “This year’s awards presentations were even more special than usual because we are celebrating our 40th anniversary – Blackpool Civic Trust was founded in February 1975.

“Two of those founder members are still involved in Blackpool Civic Trust as our vice presidents, Coun David Owen and Martin Gunson. I was very pleased that both could attend.

“It was also wonderful that one of our patrons, and local hero, Jimmy Armfield could present the awards to our very worthy winners.

“I hope to continue this 40th Anniversary year with more projects and events for our members to encourage civic pride in our community.”

The awards and winners on the night were:

School Environmental Shield – Moor Park Primary School for rebuilding their vandalised garden

Blackpool Environmental Action Team – Paul Boynton for work at the Fylde Coast Arboretum

Blackpool Council Conservation Award – Aaron Whiteside for the glass and Rob Knighton, from Eclipse, for the joinery on the refurbishment of the front of Blackpool Tower

Community Award – the Friends of Watson Road Park for their work supporting the archaeological dig at the park

Open Spaces Award – the Friends of the Devonshire Road Rock Gardens for repairing and renovating the Vista at the park

Best Night Time Economy – the Beach House, Promenade, for the renovation of the venue after storm damage

Best Refurbishment – Trinity Hospice

Best New Build – Bickerstaffe House

Transforming Blackpool – phase one of the Talbot Gateway

Special Award – F Parkinson for restoring the lost terracotta on the front of the Tower

Best New Quality Visitor Attraction – Illuminasia